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The room itself can make a big difference in the sound of an instrument which is why it's best to find the part of the room that's acoustically beneficial to the sound. In this video, I'm going to show you how to easily find the best sounding place in the room to record. When you are tracking with a group of players, especially a rhythm section, finding the best placement in the room is secondary to leakage concerns and player sightlines. Bur when you're doing overdubs finding the most complimentary place in a room is crucial. What you're looking for is a spot where the instrument sounds relatively live without the environment acting as a detriment to the sound.
Try these following steps to find the best room placement. Test the room by walking around and clapping your hands. That's a good way to find an area that has a nice even reverb decay. The clap has a boing to it or a funny sounding repeated overtone, then so will the sound of the instrument. So it's best to try another place in the room where it will hopefully sound smoother. If you can't find a place without a boing, place the instrument where it sounds the smoothest and try putting some padding or something soft on one of the side walls. It's usually best to stay out of a corner.
The corner normally causes bass loading, meaning that the low frequencies will be reinforced causing some low notes to boom. For instance when you are tracking, this can also lead to sympathetic tom ringing and snare buzzing of the drum kit. Ideally you don't want to be too close to a wall. The reflections--or absorption if the wall is soft--can change the sound of the instrument, especially if it's very loud and omni-directional like drums and percussion. The middle of the room usually works best. Ideally you want to be at a place in the room where the ceiling height is the highest.
If the ceiling is vaulted, try placing the instrument in the middle of the vault first, then move it as needed. Stay away from glass if you can. Glass will give you a lot of unwanted reflections that will change the sound of the instrument. If you have no choice because with the way the room is designed or how the players are situated, try setting the instrument up at a 45 degree angle to the glass. Try putting a rug under the vocal or instrument. A rug stops any reflections off the floor that can sometimes have a negative impact on the overall sound.
On the other hand sometimes the reflections from the hard floor can enhance the sound, try it both ways and choose. For an amplifier try placing it on a chair or road case. When the app is lifted off the floor there are fewer low end phase cancellation so the sound will be more direct and distinct. Acoustic foam like Auralex placed underneath the amp also works as well. Finding the best sounding part of the room is essential to a great recording. That means staying away from parts of the room with bad sounding reflections, the corners, or close to a wall or glass. And finally, try putting a rug underneath an instrument to cut down in some of the reflections from the floor if necessary.
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